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FORCED LABOUR REPRESENTS THE FASTEST-GROWING FORM OF INTERNATIONAL CRIME

A report by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) has recently revealed that forced labour in the global private economy generates illegal profits of $150 billion a year, at the detriment of millions of people forced to face commercial abuses as sexual exploitation and forced economic labour as domestic work, construction and mining.

Data show that currently 21 million people are suffering from forced labour, trafficking and modern-day slavery. According to the ILO, more than half of these people are women and girls compelled to commercial sexual exploitation and domestic work, while men are usually exploited in agriculture, construction, manufacturing and mining: these sectors account for $43 billion of the annual illegal profits, the report says.

Moreover, the study stresses that annual profits per victim are among the highest in developed economies and the European Union, followed by countries in the Middle East, Asia-Pacific region and Africa.

Povertyand sudden income shocks represent the principal factors that give rise to forced labour, while lack of education, gender and migration are contributory factors, the study says.

According to this report, the ILO strongly highlights that forced labour is one of the most urgent issue that governments have to address with immediate actions. In this way leaders have to redouble their efforts to face this scourge, strengthening law and policies in order to undertake collaboration with employers to reinforce their commitment against forced labour.

The UN global initiative to fight human trafficking has alarmingly shown that the trafficking of people represents the fastest-growing form of international crime and also the third-largest criminal industry after drugs and arms trafficking.

In line with that, the ILO has also called for international community to establish stricter measures, focusing on the socioeconomic factors that make people more vulnerable to forced labour especially in the private sector. 

To achieve concrete results, governments should take preventive measures, such as reinforce social security guarantees to protect poor households from abusive lending or indenture or investing in education and training in order to increase job opportunities for vulnerable workers.

 

The gLAWcal Team

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

(source: The Guardian)